Mayor Walsh Announces Expansion Of Boston’s Tuition-Free Community College Program To Include Massasoit
BOSTON – Nov. 4, 2019 – Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced Massasoit Community College, one of the largest community colleges in the state, is the fifth college to join the City of Boston’s Tuition-Free Community College Plan. The Tuition-Free Community College program (TFCC) was launched by Mayor Walsh in 2016, and pays for up to three years of college for Boston’s income-eligible students who have earned their high school credential. Massasoit joins Bunker Hill Community College, Roxbury Community College, MassBay Community College and Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology as participants in the program.
“I launched our Tuition-Free Community College Plan as a tool to help Boston residents afford and complete college,” said Mayor Walsh. “Since then, we have kept pushing toward that goal by growing the program-expanding student choice, academic opportunities and access to institutions committed to student success. Massasoit Community College will be a valuable partner in our work to build career pathways for Boston residents.”
Through the TFCC program, Massasoit will provide participants with more options in both locations and programs of study. Massasoit operates campuses in Middleborough, Brockton and Canton, which is within 10 miles of Hyde Park and Mattapan. The addition of Massasoit also makes new associate degree programs available to TFCC program students in Diesel Technology, Heating, Ventilation, & Air Conditioning (HVAC), Veterinary Technology and Architectural Technology.
These fields lead to careers that pay well above Boston’s living wage. For example, diesel mechanics and HVAC technicians in the Greater Boston area earn salaries of approximately $60,000 on average, at an average wage of $29/hour, compared to the current living wage of approximately $15/hour. The HVAC degree program at Massasoit creates a post-secondary pathway for students from Roxbury’s Madison Park Technical Vocational High School who are enrolled in the school’s new HVAC program.
“Dozens of students from the Boston area choose to study at Massasoit each year, and with the help of Mayor Walsh, his Office of Workforce Development, and the Tuition-Free Community College Plan, we’re delighted to give even more students the opportunity to earn a degree from our institution,” said Massasoit President Dr. Gena Glickman. “Our College is a tight-knit community of learners, faculty, and staff. Students who choose to study here have the opportunity to enroll in unique degree programs, challenge themselves academically through the Commonwealth Honors Program, and get involved through a number of student organizations and activities.”
The number of students who apply and are accepted to the TFCC program has increased every year since 2016. Among the 489 students who have been accepted to the program, the mean household income is less than $25,000 per year. Despite these economic challenges, participating students have achieved a higher college retention rate (78%) from their first year to their second than that of community college students nationwide (63%).
“Thanks to the TFCC program, I didn’t have to stress about paying for school,” said Naweed Hassan, a TFCC participant who graduated from Bunker Hill Community College and has gone on to study at UMass Boston. “As a result, this helped me to stay more focused on my academics and make sure I got the most out of my education.”
Run by the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development (OWD), TFCC is funded by the Neighborhood Jobs Trust which ensures Boston residents directly benefit from development by collecting linkage fees from large-scale commercial projects in the City. Students enrolling in TFCC must be Boston residents who have graduated from a high school in Boston, graduated from high school as a METCO student or earned their HiSET or GED. The students must also be eligible for a Pell Grant as determined by the U.S. Department of Education and meet U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development guidelines for having a low to moderate household income.
TFCC participants can extend their education to a four-year college through Boston Bridge, a collaboration of the TFCC program and the state’s Commonwealth Commitment program. Boston Bridge enables the program’s community college students to transfer to a Massachusetts state university or UMass campus to complete their bachelor’s degree free of tuition or mandatory fees.
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About the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development
The Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development (OWD) is an innovative agency within the Boston Redevelopment Authority that seeks to ensure the full participation of all Boston residents in the City’s economic vitality and future. OWD funds and oversees programs that promote workforce development through education, jobs training, apprenticeships, financial coaching, career pathways, literacy initiatives, and the like. Please visit OWD.Boston.Gov to learn more about OWD’s work.
About Massasoit Community College
Founded in 1966, Massasoit Community College is one of the largest community colleges in Massachusetts. Massasoit offers more than 60 associate degree and certificate programs across arts, sciences, and applied sciences. With three locations in Brockton, Canton, and Middleborough, Massasoit serves students from all across the metro south region. More than 900 students graduate with an associate degree or certificate each year from Massasoit, and 2,600 students annually enroll in non-credit community education or workforce development courses. Massasoit offers a wide variety of support services to help students develop academic, emotional, and social skills.